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FIFA doesn't want an exclusive license deal

Longtime EA Sports licensing partner says "it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights"

After nearly three decades of partnership with Electronic Arts, FIFA is looking to play the field.

The football federation today laid out a change in strategy, saying it plans "to widen [its] gaming and esports portfolio."

"FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and esports for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights," the organization said.

"Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments."

FIFA said it is working with a number of developers, investors, and analysts to devise a long-term strategy in gaming and esports.

"Gaming and esports are the fastest-growing media verticals on the planet, with new and diverse types of games launching continuously," it said. "It is therefore of crucial importance for FIFA and its stakeholders to maximise all future opportunities for football and gaming fans."

The organization also said it would use the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women's World Cup events "to launch and integrate" new FIFA games and esports competitions.

EA's current deal with FIFA -- which gives it exclusive rights to FIFA-branded action and management games -- runs through 2022.

The publisher last week revealed it was "exploring the idea of renaming our global EA Sports football games," and has filed multiple trademarks for a possible new name for the FIFA franchise: EA Sports FC.

The New York Times reported that FIFA had been asking for $1 billion per four-year World Cup cycle to extend its arrangement with EA.

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Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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